Most French People Feel They Can’t Control Their Private Data On Their Smartphones, New Study Finds
Some experts suggest that the French do not protect their devices enough.
A new study by virtual private network provider NordVPN shows that 68% of French people feel they cannot control the private data stored on their smartphone. And for good reason, these devices, which are a part of everyone’s daily life, collect and store a large amount of personal data: photos, contact details, banking applications, online browsing history, shopping habits and much more. . Phones know everything about their users.
“The French are aware of the importance of the security of their smartphones and are also concerned about the use of all their personal data. In particular, they fear above all that their financial transactions (74%), recorded personal photos (45%), or even shared files or links (39%) will be made public. Additionally, more than a third of them (36%) are concerned about their online conversations being posted as well as their browsing history (32%), ”adds Daniel Markuson, NordVPN digital privacy expert.
The different ways to lock the screen and their disadvantages
The study shows that the majority of French people (56%) prefer to lock their phone with a PIN code. Quick and easy, just enter a sequence of numbers to unlock the screen. However, according to the InfoSec study, 26% of all phones are unlocked using too simple a sequence of numbers, for example, “1234”, “1111”, “123456” or even “000000”. Furthermore, this study also shows that 10% of users do not use any lock. And yet, implementing authentication helps protect against scams, intrusions, or simple inconvenience.
More than a third of the French (34%) prefer fingerprint unlocking, considered the fastest way to secure access to the phone. Quite safe, however, it is not impossible to bypass it. Fingerprints can be stolen from photos, for example, and then recreated with simple 3D printing for use in biometric readers. Chinese research team X-Lab claims that it only takes 20 minutes to force a biometric lock using their method.
1 in 3 French (30%) chooses the password. If it contains numbers, letters and special characters, it is more secure than a PIN or pattern on the screen. When choosing this method, it is important to choose a password that includes letters, numbers, and special characters, with a minimum length of 8 characters. It is essential to memorize this password to avoid locking the phone if you forget it.
Among other phone lock methods, 20% of French people use facial recognition, 15% the pattern on the screen and finally 7% smart lock.
“It is always advisable to choose a combination of several locking tools to ensure total security. Different smartphone brands are also interested in biometric security measures by adding special functions to strengthen the security of their devices. Among them, different levels Face Recognition and Iris Authentication. Whichever smartphone lock method you choose, keep in mind that protecting your phone now can save you trouble in the future, ”adds Daniel Markuson, NordVPN digital privacy expert.
Which operating system is more secure: iOS or Android?
The study shows that the majority (66%) of the people surveyed use the Android mobile operating system, while a third of the people (28%) use the iOs system. So what is the answer to the question that everyone asks: the iPhone is more secure than Android?
The answer is not so simple. While most phone attacks are due to carelessness, the phone’s built-in security is still useful. Apple strives to control the legitimacy of all offered apps, while the accessible settings of the Android Play Store allow hackers to thrive. Comparing the different functions is the best way to choose between the two operating systems.
As consumers increasingly use their mobile devices for many online activities, the iOS and Android operating systems have become the main targets of cybercriminals. By using a virtual private network, like NordVPN, you are hiding your IP address and encrypting your data. IOS and Android apps come with the Dark Web Monitor feature that notifies users if their personal data is leaked on the dark web. So you can feel more secure while using your smartphone, “says Daniel Markuson, digital privacy expert.
Methodology: The survey was conducted by NordVPN’s research department from July 26 to August 2, 2021. The target group for the survey was French residents over 18 years of age. Quotas have been defined by age, sex and place of residence.